I'm sure you've read all the statistics and studies
on this subject. The foodservice industry is way behind the curve when
it comes to professional development. Good managers who go unchallenged
have only one choice: look for another job where they can learn new skills
and earn higher pay as a result.
While the simple answer is to develop a formal management development
program, the reality is quite complicated. How would you go about setting
up a program like this? Do you have the time and the skills to develop
it yourself? How much would it cost you to outsource it to a consultant?
Can you afford to send your managers off site for several days to attend
conferences and seminars? Most of us can't.
Use the Trade Secrets Web Site as the basis for a weekly Management
Development Program. Our weekly Trade Secrets are arranged around 10 Core
Competencies executed to Best Practices standards in Foodservice: Management,
Training, Human Resources, Marketing, Leadership, Menu, Cost Controls,
Finance, Service and Operations. Each week we define a common foodservice
problem and describe a solution. And if you're a Trade Secrets Member,
we give you a tool to help implement that solution. What could be simpler?
My Challenge to You
Include a line on your weekly management
meeting agenda for "This Week's Trade Secret." Ask everyone
to log on to the web site and read the Trade Secret prior to the meeting.
Discuss the applicability of the Trade Secret to your operation. How could
you modify it to work better? What kinds of results would you expect to
see if you implemented it? If you are already using the tool or idea,
how is it working? Could it be improved?
It doesn't matter if you're QSR, dinner only, or you don't serve alcohol.
The point is to expand your manager's understanding of all the skills
necessary to be successful in our industry. One test of intelligence is
the ability to take a random idea and creatively apply it to your own
How many of your managers could conduct a formal customer focus group?
Not many. Maybe you've never conducted one yourself. Our Trade Secret, Hocus
Focus, describes the benefits of conducting focus groups and provides
our Members with a complete Facilitator's
I challenge you to introduce this idea at your next management meeting.
The ability to organize and conduct formalized communication with your
customers is a valuable skill for any manager -- in any industry -- and
something to proudly include on a resume.
Don't be afraid to educate your staff. If you don't, they'll look for
someone who will. I know I did. Didn't you?